Best fat setup for sand?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Best fat setup for sand?

    Hey there,

    riding a Kona Wo 2015 and loving it. The fatty came stock with 80 mm Mule Futs and 4.5" Veetire Snowshoes. I lightend it a bit by replacing stock tubes and rim tapes which saved in excess of half a kilo, other, it is off the shelf.

    While not many like the original Snowshoes they, while not being perfect, worked good for me.

    Currently I'm contemplating putting the bike to good use on an expedition involving sand, loose sand and sandy corrugated tracks.

    Now for the expedition I was planning to get a new set of Schwalbe Jumbo Jims of the sturdier kind (not light skin), especially as they are comparably inexpensive here in Germany

    As they come in 4" and 4.8", My first idea was the 4.8" as bigger is always better, right?

    Then, especially after skipping through this thread: 4" tires vs 5" tires advantages / disadvantages?, I thought that 4" would offer some considerable advantages in sand, especially as rim width is considered more important than tire with:

    1. Lighter
    2. Faster/easier to pedal on solid terrain
    3. Not necessarily slower on loose terrain
    4. 4" will eventually work with regular MTB tubes


    As saving weight is key 4" will not only save weight, 5" will perhaps not add much value as sady uphills will have to be pushed with a heavy loaded rig anyway.

    Thoughts appreciated!

  2. #2
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    make sure you get good measurements on those jumbo jims. Not all 4.8" tires are 4.8". IMO, I'd stick with the stock tires and set them up tubeless. Carry tubes just in case. Once they're setup tubeless, adjusting pressure is easy.

    For sand, that'll be the trick. Lower pressure for sand to keep a lot of traction. Higher pressure when you're not in the sand. With the right pressure and gearing, you should be able to climb in the sand. Not crazy steep, but normal grades shouldn't be much different. If you can ride it without the load, you can ride it with a load.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  3. #3
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    Thx for your feedback.

    Actually it's not that much about uphill ridability, it's more about energy conservation. Sometimes walking and pushing is less demanding than riding. Will have to figure that out as I go ...

    Also, have to experiment with tubeless setups - refrained from it in the past as the Mule Futs are a bit tricky to setup tubeless and I didn't expect that much performance increase for my style of riding. But will give it a shot with Fatty Strippers. I guess it would definitely be beneficial for riding and puncture protection.

    Just not sure yet if it would make sense for desert riding when night temps drop below freezing point - heard that most fluids do not work well in the cold - any experiences?

  4. #4
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    Most tubeless sealants are fine in freezing temperatures. Read around, and you'll fine plenty of examples of fat bike riders going tubeless in the wintertime. And tubeless will be one less thing to worry about during a long ride. You get a flat with a tube, you get a flat and have to deal with changing it in the middle of nowhere. Flat on tubeless, just shake the wheel and air it back up. If it's bad enough the sealant won't work, you always carry a tube and a tire boot anyway. Or you should at least.

    Mulefut rims are already tubeless, so they shouldn't need the fatty strippers. Tape up the rim, put on the tire and air it up. The beads should seat without much fuss, and then you add the sealant. Sunringle has a video on their mulefut product page about setting them up tubeless.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  5. #5
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    Trouble with the Mule Futs is that they have small holes right underneath where the tire bead sits - I tried with Gorilla Tape and Stans, but didn't manage to get them holding air permanently.

    There are threads on the Mulefut issue and you had to buy the rimtape from Sunringle ... well yeah, could do so, but fatty stripper seems the better solution to me. Will see.

  6. #6
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    Sand and desert conditions...? Might prove helpful to read up on some of Ozzybmx's race experiences in said conditions. Not sure, but might have to go back about a year.

    If you could say just where it is you intend to travel, perhaps someone on here has the knowledge of self experience?

  7. #7
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    I ride a lot on the beach (I live on a beach). I find the sand to be almost more changeable than snow is, if that is possible. I've been riding on the sand with a 4" tire and had no problems (trek 27.5x4"). Going to a wider tire would probably be helpful. Also, picking where on the sand you ride is really probably more important.

    J.

  8. #8
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    It depends on the type of sand you're riding on..

    The Texas coast has what we call "sugar sand" which when dry is miserable to even walk on because it gets so deep & soft...but when slightly wet, it packs nicely and is easy to ride.

    I've been to the Oregon coast (Tillamook area) and the sand there was super coarse and seems like it'd be easier to ride than the Texas coastal sands.

  9. #9
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    I'd do a sandy ride with Big Fat Larrys. They work so much better in sand than so many other tires, I'm setting up my Clownshoes with them specifically for beach riding.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    I ride 80mm rims (DTswiss BR710) with Bud and Lou on the beach. Obviously i adjust the pressure to suite the condition but even with low pressure and 4.8" tires i do spin out on very loose sand (like a dune or sand that doesn't get washed over by water) and it's not pleasant to ride/walk. But on other conditions where i encounter sand on the trails or frequently washed over packed beach sand they fly over with great ease, even at higher pressures. It might drag me down on occasion, but i really only feel it when i start having a flat and limp back to the car, then even on a flat road i have to get out of the seat and pedal harder then ever.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I ride a lot on the beach (I live on a beach). I find the sand to be almost more changeable than snow is, if that is possible. I've been riding on the sand with a 4" tire and had no problems (trek 27.5x4"). Going to a wider tire would probably be helpful. Also, picking where on the sand you ride is really probably more important.

    J.
    This is so true. Our typical tides have nearly 10' vertical difference from high to low. At low tide there are extensive hard sand flats. At high tide this time of year...soft stuff we call the cardio zone. But a little rain will harden that up. Winter rains mean..ride anywhere. Summer dry means picking your line. I find BFLs at 1.5 psi front and 2 psi rear get me most anywhere. But if I want to scoot..the I get on the super hard stuff (a narrow band 20' wide) and roll fast at 20+ psi.

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